I finally got my bicing card last week. I’ve been meaning to write about it but wanted to wait until I had some pictures to accompany the post. What is bicing? It’s part of the public transit system in Barcelona. €30 per year gains you access to a network of bikes located around the city, the idea is that you use the bike solely to get from A to B. A system of incentives and fees are used to make it work. Rides under 30 minutes are free, rides from 31 minutes to 2 hours are charged at €0.50 per 30 minutes and after that you get fined. Two or three trips over 2 hours and you are automatically kicked out, so no taking the bike out for a leisurely ride along the seawall. There are similar systems in both Montreal and Paris.
It’s been great to have a bike to ride but also slightly freaky. The bikes are in notoriously rough shape. I’ve used two that had essentially no front or back brakes, one that constantly slipped out of gear (they have 3 gears) and another that had an interesting steering problem, very slow response time to turning the handle bars. I now understand why it seems as though people on bicing are intentionally aiming for me on thee sidewalk. Add to this the fact that I don’t have a helmet and it’s been rather interesting. If I stay in the old part of town I can ride on mostly pedestrian streets and there is also a fairly well developed bike lane network, but some of these still share the road with traffic. The Vancouverite in me hates to admit that sometimes I even ride on the sidewalk.
PS: The prolific postings this weekend are the result of having a paper due on Monday.